MELIA WATRAS: PHOTO BY MIKEL
for viola solo (2012)
World Premiere: Melia Watras, viola; July 2, 2012, Chicago, IL
In January 2012, my cousin Mikel Watras, who is a wonderful artist, presented me with a gift of a miniature photograph. The image is of an olive grove in Akcay, Turkey, on the coast of the Aegean Sea, where she had been visiting.
I put this photo in my studio, and often found myself staring into it, transfixed by its beauty and uniqueness. As I improvised music on my viola, I would become lost in this other world. These practice sessions were the catalyst for my composition.
The rhythm commonly associated with the alla Turca style (see below) provides architectural and motivic elements to Photo by Mikel.